Huddersfield social: textiles and form

Blog post by Emily Porter

Yesterday, 6 women (including Poppy, the labradoodle puppy) met up to discuss work, software, projects and ideas. In the previous meeting, the ladies experimented with patterns created by sound waves when sand is placed on a Chladni plate. While this process itself is always a wonder to behold, Linda’s expertise with textiles and photoshop opened up a whole new world of visual artistry. She discussed her creative process, blending and colouring screenshots of the sand patterns in different combinations to create varying effects. This created Picasso-esque styles, shapes and colour schemes reminiscent of a cathedral’s stained glass window. Printing such patterns on to fabric was only one of the exciting ways in which these sound waves could be displayed.

Liz also gave us a brief demonstration of programming sounds. Two live coding softwares: Ixilang and TidalCycles, and we were rather excited by the potential of the sounds once one has learned the appropriate commands. Links below.

Jo’s work was next to be constructively critiqued and admired. Her piece was constructed from processed recordings of bats and flutes. We discussed the efficacy of repetition and gradual sonic development through a piece, and I had the pleasure of introducing Jo to Ryoji Ikeda, one of the masters of gradual compositional variation. This brought us on to the subject of one of the YSWN’s previous ventures of recording a wind turbine, which also proved to be a great example of the effective use of repetition and small details within a piece. We discussed timbral qualities, sonorities and audible harmonic series in simply a wind turbine- the furthest thing one would imagine when considering placement of musical notes. The different tones of the wind turbine, as noted by Liz, are plentiful enough that they have the potential to be fully orchestrated (an exercise I’d love to try).

Feel free to keep updated and get involved with the YSWN’s endeavours in our Facebook group (



Live coding software included:


Tidal website provides useful information about installation and a step by step walk through of how to use the language.

IxILang (to be followed up another day)

Other helpful websites include



Link to Mike Hodnick’s code a day

Look out for the ‘Slack’ Live coding group.

Also check out the AHRC Live coding research network events

Developer of Tidalcycles: Alex McLean

Developer of IxI software: Thor Magnusson

Women live coding in the UK at the moment (apologies if your name should be here please email us and we will add you):

Shelly Knotts

Joanne Armitage

Norah Lorway

Also look out for new people coming onto the scene, such as Lucy Cheesman who (with Amy Beaston) runs the Sheffield Hallam Yorkshire Sound Women Network events via the Catalyst: festival of creativity

Look out for Alexandra Cardenas who is running this event (sorry it’s full) soon

Published by: Liz Dobson

Lecturer in Music Technology at The University of Huddersfield. Interested in fostering undergraduate multi-disciplinary collaboration, blurring community boundaries for the benefit of learning in informal settings.

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